Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pregnancy Update - Week 32

A couple of weeks ago, Murrells Inlet, SC

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and really, almost 33 weeks. This pregnancy has been different in so many ways but I'm not sure if it's actually different or if it's just that I now have a toddler. 

Emotional Nutbag: Yes - that is me. I have cried almost every single day for the last 2 weeks. Sometimes, for over an hour. I think part of the challenge this time is mom guilt, and it can eat at me pretty hard some days. It affects my self esteem A LOT. I can also feel super lonely but I don't really want to do anything about it. Like, I feel bad that I feel lonely but I don't feel like reaching out or socializing much. Either way, all of those emotions are just getting to me. I want to be normal again!

Fatigue: I feel bad complaining because honestly, I have had such an easy pregnancy, even easier than last time. I'm just now hitting the fatigue stage, but since I have a toddler, I can't really rest when I want. Yesterday, I was so tired, Ellie just watched tv while I laid down. Then the mom guilt kicks in and we're back to number 1. Hopefully, I won't be super tired every day for the next 7 weeks.

Discomfort: Last time, I actually had bad back pain the entire pregnancy. This time, it's just now starting and today is the first day where it's really uncomfortable. When I lay down, I sometimes feel like I can't breathe, probably because my massive boobs are smashing my chest and lungs. 

With Ellie, I was so positive the whole time, and I didn't really feel the push to have her, but right now, I'm kind of over being pregnant and am ready for him to come. I have 7.5 more weeks but maybe he'll come a week early? 

Really, I feel bad complaining because I have super easy pregnancies. I'm usually very healthy, my blood pressure always stays low, not too much pain, nausea (after the first trimester anyway), headaches, etc. It's nothing like the horror stories I've heard. I'm very grateful that I'm healthy and seem to do a good job carrying my babies :)

I am also ready for him to come because I'd just like to meet him. I haven't been able to bond with him as much but there are moments when I do and I'm excited to have another little baby to love. In the meantime, here are some photos from our family photo shoot:

Photography: Liv Collins,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Forgiveness and Love; What are we called to do

A Path Leading Up - may we take this with humility

Ellie and I finally made it to Mass today for the first time since May. I hate that I've missed so much but between subbing for yoga, going to the beach, Mother's day, Father's day, and lots of other stuff. We've had a lot of Sunday morning activities. It felt good to be back, especially during such a difficult time. The Charleston shootings have shocked the country, but being here in SC, it's really sent a wave of despair and controversy through the state. 

I'm not one to talk about politics and current events, but there were a couple of things that I felt were important about the reactions of the victims in this attack. We all got to hear a beautiful lesson in how to follow a spiritual life. There was so much beauty in the reaction of the victims' families, and the forgiveness they were able to extend to the killer. 

Forgiveness is a path to the healing of the heart. One cannot have a whole, healthy heart when harboring a resentment. Resentment cause discourse within, and causes the heart to close. One of my favorites quotes came from The Untethered Soul; it states ""No matter what happens below you, just turn your eyes upward and relax your heart." Though life may contain many challenges and we may experience much pain, our only task is to remain open. Our task is to remain vulnerable and open to the love around us and above us. That's such an important lesson for me because I am VERY sensitive and I can easily retreat into myself when life gets rough. I tend to be a guarded person, and through lots of work, I've been on the path of opening, though I still have a long road ahead. 

What does forgiveness look like? The victims of the Charleston shooting showed us the ultimate example of forgiveness. Though they experienced some of the worst pain that one can experience in life, the loss of a loved one, they forgave the killer. They laid their hands upon the image of him, told him they forgave him, and told him they loved him. He was not remorseful. He did not come groveling and asking for grace. He stood there with a blank face and they forgave him anyway. That is what we're called to do. It's easy to forgive someone who comes to you with an apologetic heart. When we see a person in a vulnerable state, it's easy for us to remain open too. Our function, though, is to remain vulnerable and loving even if the other is not. It's through this forgiveness that one opens oneself up to the light above. Our soul is free and we remain a vessel through which God can work. Our heart remains open and our energy pure. If they can forgive after such a heinous act, who am I to not forgive?  

As we continue to face our adversaries through such a divisive time in our country, I am reminded of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi. 

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

It is not my function to judge, but only to love and be of service. If we keep that idea in mind, how would it change our daily actions and interactions with others? I'm not responsible for anyone but myself and maybe through my service, I can be a light to others. Why would I want to be anything else?